Seated sketching one morning at the edge of a desert dry wash, all was silent until I suddenly heard the soft call of a quail. Then, about fifteen feet in front of me, unexpectedly, a mama quail walked across the wash, followed by a whole line of her little babies. I sat very quietly while they went, marveling at the little parade.
On another day (very warm summer day in the desert), I was seated on a folding camp stool, sketching. I was at the site of an old mine, sitting in an open flat area and absorbed in my work.
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something moving on the ground—toward me. It was a snake, headed to the only shade around—under my camp stool! Yes, I quickly decided to change my location and not accommodate Mr. Diamondback or any of his cousins!
It paid no attention to me, walked across an open area, crossed the stream, and disappeared into the brush on the opposite side. Yes, I stood very quietly until it was gone.
Some joys of the landscape painter!